Who are you and from where do you hail?!

I’ve long been curious to see who my readers are here at courtneyhelman.wordpress.com.  Some of you comment, and some of you don’t (and that’s cool, I’m a flunky commenter, too, I’m ashamed to admit).  But if you are here, reading this blog, I want to know who you are. Say HI in the comments section, and if you have a blog yourself, please leave your URL so I can start reading YOUR daily isms.

I’ll go first. Hi, I’m Courtney from courtneyhelman.wordpress.com. Nice to meet ya!


Wedding Day {Third Installment}: Makin’ it official

Our ceremony was at 4:00 and after primping, Stockton and I did some photos separately because, duhhh, I was going to have a grand entrance that could not be ruined by him seeing me before the big shebang.  After doing the His and Hers thing with the photographer, it was time to begin the countdown.  My parents came to escort me to the opposite side of the museum where a horse drawn carriage was waiting to take my dad and I to the ceremony. It was perfection.

As the guests took their seats, Stockton and his brothers waited on the steps of a porch where my carriage would be trotting by any moment.  The brothers and our pastor, Ben, processed to the “altar” while my sisters and a very precious daddy-drawn-wagon-riding flower girl made their way down the aisle and Stockton waited patiently on the steps.  Rumor has it, guests thought he was going to bolt when he didn’t follow his brothers to the altar.  Rumor has it, he now wishes he would’ve. KIDDING!

While the guests turned their heads back to the carriage house from which the sisters processed expecting my dad and I to follow, a thunder of clip clops erupted from the porte cochere and my Daddy and I arrived in our horse drawn carriage.  Heavenly entrance, if I do say so myself.

Our ceremony was perfect.  The sermon was done by Stockton’s teenage mentor, Ben, who has since become a pastor, and was able to give us a wonderful gift of a beautiful and personal wedding sermon.  We served our guests communion while Maddie sang a beautiful hymn, and it was all overwhelmingly special and intimate.  At the end, Ben asked the guests to raise their hands and pray over us as we enter this covenant of marriage, and it was so special to have the accountability and favor of all of our guests to support us in this crazy, wild journey.

After the ceremony, Stockton and I left in the carriage together as husband and wife.  And we totally had that moment of “Whew… so…. hey, we’re married!” once we were out of sight.  The day you get married is seriously a great day for the human soul – to feel that much happiness and to share it with the love of your life is so healing and hopeful.  Stockton and I rode the carriage from the ceremony site, through downtown South Bend to the reception venue.  To be honest, it was kind of awkward and hilarious sitting in that carriage for 20 minutes for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact we got crapped on by a bird, but also because WHAT DO YOU TALK TO YOUR NEW HUSBAND ABOUT MERE MOMENTS AFTER GETTING HITCHED!?! Do you talk about the weather? Ask him if he thinks this dress makes your butt look big? Make sure he packed the travelers’ checks for the honeymoon? It’s such a surreal situation that ordinary conversation seems out of the question. So we just kinda laughed, and frankly, enjoyed every moment. Bird poop and all.  And apparently, it’s amazingly lucky to be pooped on by a bird on your wedding day. JACKPOT!!!!

The reception was a blast.  The room was GORGEOUS and I will be sure to post some professional pictures once I have those, but all of our hard work was DEFINITELY worth the paper cuts and cuss words. The band (First Impressions from Indianapolis) was AMAZING and we all had SUCH a blast dancing and singing with them.  Seriously, as someone else put it, when they sang an Aretha Franklin song, you thought you were actually listening to Aretha Franklin.  When you heard a Louis Armstrong song, you actually thought it was Louis Armstrong.  Which leads me to the Father/Daughter dance to “Isn’t She Lovely”.  SO CUTE (in my very unbiased opinion). I was so glad we chose a fun song instead of a slow, sad-ish song.  It was just so positive and upbeat.  And I do believe I threw my dad’s back out with some of my insane, unchoreographed gyrating, but SO WORTH IT!!!

We had such an amazing wedding from start to very finish, and we are so so blessed to have been given the gift of a wedding to remember for an eternity.  Mom and Dad, thank you so much for giving us this beautiful gift. We love you and are eternally grateful 🙂  xoxoxo

Wedding Day {Second Installment}: Primping

Following my morning with Kate, it was off to the hair salon for some beauty time.  Salon Nouveau did our hair, which is where we all get our hair done anyway, so we knew and loved all of our stylists, which, phew, makes that process of getting an updo/blowout (or blow job ahem JAMIE!!) a little more relaxed.  And just for the record, there was nothing kinky about any of our hairstyles, my mom just can’t embrace the difference between calling it a blowout versus a bow job. HUGE DIFFERENCE MOM.

Two weeks earlier, I had gotten a trial updo from my stylist.  I liked it. It was classic, controlled, and very lovely. Way too severe for an outdoor wedding, though. I had forever thought that I would wear my hair curly at the wedding, and then I got this straight updo and after looking at the bridal portraits I had taken that day, I was all SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THESE PICTURES!  And so on the morning of my wedding, I changed the game by wearing my hair curly to the appointment. Oh yeah, and bringing fake hair…  because why make it easy on the poor girl? If I’m going to change the style, I’m going to make the stylist miserable in doing so.  I mean, YOU try teasing an 18″ toupe into looking like a romantic and lovely braided updo!!!! WITHOUT ANY PRACTICE OR NOTICE! Don’t worry, I let her get revenge by chopping off my hair after the honeymoon, thus relieving her from any other updo hell in the future.

This is what my poor stylist had to work with. She was cussing under her breath.

This is my nightmare. Please note the Pepto and Diet Coke bar.

Mom getting her blow job.

After hair (which took me about a half hour longer than anyone because of the toupe mess, thus leaving me to drive like a bat out of hell by myself to the ceremony site) we proceeded to have our makeup done by the wonderful and talented Gabrielle Thompson of GabGlam.  Gabby has been doing Kaley, Maddie and my makeup for a decade. A DECADE. Um, can I get a What What on feeling old there? She has been there for weddings, proms, winter formals, and all of life’s other very made-up occasions and we think she’s thebomb {dot} com.

It was really nice having our own little room where we could eat cheese and crackers, drink lots of Pepto Bismol, take lots of Gas X, sweat a lot from our armpits… y’know…. regular old wedding day stuff. Clearly my mom really loved it. Or she was just feeling really good still from her blow job. OK I KNOW! Too far with the blow job jokes. I’ll stop. Maybe.

Avalon loves cheese too.

Finished makeup and Miss Punkin

Kaley gettin' her face did.

All in all, once the toupe was tamed, the primping was lots of fun, and very relaxed, which was exactly what we needed.  Supposedly, the men did some primping of their own of which I know not of, so I will use my bro-in-law, Rob’s, pictures as narrative of said male primping.

Muh hubs

Usher. Like the singer, only with a bum hand.

Getting distracted by the exhibits in the car museum.... GUYS!!!

Finished products 🙂

And just for good measure… BLOW JOB BLOW JOB BLOW JOB BLOW JOB!!!

Next: Ceremony and Bird Poop…. Stay tuned.

Work Promo

Shameless, I know. But check these out – Coming to Orange Tree soon!!!

So about that security deposit…

Don’t be fooled by her sweet kisses and charms. Even Lola has a dark side….

The day I became a Mrs {First installment}

It has been exactly three weeks since the old Mister and I tied the knot.  It’s crazy to think we have been married, as in Mr. and Mrs., as in THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR THREE YEARS for three weeks already.  Whew. Time flies.  But now that the dust has settled (and I have officially used that figure of speech shmatrillion times on this blog as an excuse to not have to write anything) I think the time has come to begin the story telling of the wedding day.

Obviously the day began early because, hello, who can sleep the night before their wedding?! Speaking of the night before the wedding, the rehearsal went great except for a huge *bleep*-up by the coordinator of our venue who failed to mention until like, 5 seconds before the rehearsal, that there was a huge community party on Friday. In the lawn where our wedding was. During the time we had scheduled for the rehearsal. Complete with beer tents and a country western band. Yee-haw, y’all! Bridezilla was on the loose in 3-inch heels, and no one wants to mess with Bridezilla in 3-inch heels!!! We had enough notice to throw together a makeshift rehearsal Thursday morning, which turned out to be a total disaster and drove me to drinking, but as they say in theater, a bad dress rehearsal means opening night will be perfect. And there’s no amount of *bleep*-ups that cannot be remedied with wine.  Those two theories in hand, I made it to Friday night’s rehearsal which, save the misplacement of our run-through, went swimmingly. Dinner at Ruth’s Chris afterwards was so lovely and a great, intimate time for us to spend with our bridal party and families before the big hubbub the next day.  Beautiful words were spoken, delicious food was consumed, and gifts were shared.  Major props to my new in-laws for putting together such a bomb rehearsal.  The only problem with the whole night was the gas baby that had been gestating for 4 days prior to the wedding that prohibited my ability to scarf down copious amounts of perfectly grilled filet and mashed potatoes.  Sigh.  Fart.

'Zilla giving orders. Or flicking someone off. Nobody knows.

Me with my lovely Honorary Bridesmaids 🙂

So back to the morning of.  Gas baby was still alive and well. Kicking with a vengeance, even.  Not to worry, I had my dad load me up with every type of gastrointestinal medical remedy known to WebMD.  And then I took them all at the same time.  If tummy medicine had the same effect as alcohol, I would have been 3 sheets to the wind. Or 5 or 11. But since it doesn’t, instead it just bound me up more, HOORAY!!! I have never been a nervous person for big events, but people, your wedding does things to you that are inexplicable and uncharacteristic. And for good reason, I mean, Hello. It is your wedding, not some high school musical.  Apparently my body gets nervous in the form of bathroom breaks in 5 minute intervals. CUTE!

So up at 6:00 AM I was, drinking coffee on the porch as usual, sniffling my way through several “Last” moments at home as a single gal.  As per her promise the night before to rescue me from pre-wedding boredom and loss of sanity, Kate came over and, well, kept me sane.  Kate and I had an ongoing debate prior to the wedding about the importance of wedding shoes.  Obviously I think wedding shoes are important, or I wouldn’t have bought a kratrillion pairs.  However, the ones I settled on had crappy support and I knew that I knew that I knew that these shoes would be the end of me if I wore them all night. Kate, however, made it very clear that were I to take my shoes off or replace them at any point during the evening, all hell would break loose and the wedding would be ruined because HELLO the shoes are VITAL PIECES OF THE WARDROBE PUZZLE and without them, the outfit is ruined OMG!  So when my knight in shining pajama pants arrived on Saturday morning to babysit me for a few hours, without missing a beat she announced “I am here to save your balls” and just like that, we were on our way to CVS to pay a visit to Dr. Scholl. If you don’t have a friend like that, you need to go get one, STAT. If nothing else, it sure took the edge off to hear her say the word balls. Heh heh. And to think I got married with this level of immaturity.

Next up: Pre-wedding primping and ceremony!


Lola’s homecoming story is one that many a little girl can tell who fell in love with a pooch behind the glass at the mall pet shop and finally took the little fur ball home after badgering her daddy long enough. Or her new husband. And since we are still in the honeymoon phase, he was a total sucker for my charms 100% in agreement with his lovely new wife.

We went to the mall to buy our duvet cover from Macy’s with some wedding gift cards. We left with Lola, which we, unfortunately, had no gift cards for. HOWEVER, we had something better: for graduation, my grandparents gave me a check with the words “Bow Wow” in the memo line. Not kidding.  It lit-rally said Bow Wow. See, for Kaley’s graduation they got her a puppy right away. Due to our different circumstances (you know… my parents’ golden retriever is old and ornery, I was getting married and moving across the country…) a puppy would NOT have mixed in there well. Hence I got puppy money.

Thursday night, after 3 months, I spent it. The irony of it is that right around the time I received my puppy money, Lola was born. It was destiny.

And so we brought home our docile little baby and that first night, she slept in her kennel (which my mother and father in law so graciously let us borrow since their chihuahua doesn’t use it anymore) and didn’t make a peep. I was almost worried about her. She wasn’t really eating after all, wouldn’t accept a treat, and only took two sips of water all night. I chalked it all up to her just being scared. It was so much change in such a short period of time, and I’d probably boycott food, too.

Wait, who am I kidding. I would totally not boycott food. But to each her own, and Lola’s way of expressing her fear was to practice the ancient act of Long Dog Lock Jaw.

Friday morning, our pup woke up and scarfed her breakfast (hallelujah, the hunger strike is over!) and played with us for a while before we had to say goodbye for a couple hours while we ran some errands. We figured she’d be safest in the kitchen, which is tiled floor, has her food and water in case she gets hungry, and has her potty pad as well. Seeing as the little tink is only 4 pounds, we figured the ironing board would be a sufficient threshold to keep her contained. When we got home, she was the picture of a princess in her bed, however the walls of Attica, er, the ironing board, had fallen. Here she is my little escape artist.

In our morning playtime, we discovered that little Lola likes her own reflection. She can push her bed around and whenever we left her, she would push her bed right up to the mirror where she could lay and admire her own beauty. And she is a beauty.

Pretty soon, the puppy in our docile little scaredy pup came out. She had her first doctor’s appointment and took her vaccinations like a total champ, and played and walked all afternoon with Stockton and I.  Here is Lo on her first walk.

Just to give you an idea of how teeny weeny my wienie is, she has to wear a kitten harness because even the smallest puppy harness was too big. Even the Cat harness was too big. She’s my little kitty.

And she’s quite the socialite – couldn’t wait to get into the clubhouse at the apartment.

I think it’s safe to say that we have some new blog material over in these parts. I’ll still recap wedding things, just waiting on pictures. In the meantime, you can go here and get a little photographic preview.

Peace, Love and Lola.